“This is absolutely fantastic” is all I could think when I attended the global press launch of The Project: IMMERSIVE FITNESS in London back in May. I was there with one of my colleagues because we brought our top media partners from Germany and because we needed an impression of what exactly we were supposed to bring to life a few months later in Germany. The answer: nothing less than the future of fitness. Les Mills – the world-renowned provider of fitness classes that Reebok proudly partners with – takes the studio fitness experience to a completely new level. Demanding choreographies, energetic music and skilled instructors have always been part of the Les Mills portfolio – now Les Mills turns off the light, adds a screen and projects digital worlds onto it. This way, the participants don’t just pretend to climb a mountain on their bike, they do it. They don’t count their squat reps, they duck away from flying objects. They don’t punch into the air, they save the world from an alien invasion. They don’t picture their happy place in their minds during yoga, but do the peaceful warrior in the middle of the ocean and follow a swarm of birds with their hands. You wonder what this looks like? This is what we saw in London:
As you can imagine, we enjoyed every second of the perfectly organized event and the truly overwhelming experience of The Project, but in the back of my mind there was this little voice already whispering that pulling this off would be quite a challenge. And that little voice was right. At the German launch event in Berlin from August 28 until August 30, we presented The Project to German journalists, to important partners of Reebok, to Les Mills club managers and to consumers of the Fit Generation. Obviously, this meant that quite a big part of our Reebok team had been involved in all the processes from the start, way before we even set foot in Berlin. From finding the right location, gathering the required products for the participants and for the shop, via getting journalists, partners and consumers excited so they would want to dedicate their time and follow us to Berlin (without actually knowing what awaits them at the “future of fitness”), right through to questions like what colour the entrance wristbands need to be, there were tons of things to organize and details to clarify.
A lot of it really required going the extra mile. I might have had a little respect when I first realized the task lying ahead of us, but in hindsight I have to admit that I underestimated what we can achieve as a team. I am no fan of self-praise but there is just no other way to describe what happened. Since we all were convinced of how great The Project could be, we rolled up our sleeves and got going. Everybody simply did what needed to be done, prior to the event and most of all on-site in Berlin. Boundaries between the functions melted away, everybody was eager to immediately jump in wherever somebody else needed support, no matter if this meant briefing a spokesperson, filling up the coffee machine, scanning tickets or talking and entertaining the many interested passers-by. Slowly but surely our four days at The Project evolved into a team-building experience for us. This good feeling was fuelled even more every 45 minutes when a class ended, the door opened and 25 stunned consumers exited (stay tuned for another blog post of a colleague who encountered The Project in Berlin for the first time) and spent some time hanging around talking to us about how much fun they had and what a great impression they have of Les Mills and Reebok. So call me cheesy if you want but what crossed my mind as we all did one of the Immersive Fitness classes together and sprinted down a mountain on our bikes, exhausted but happy, was what one of my colleagues from adidas once said: When you love what you do it’s not work. It’s just what you do. And I had even more fun than back in London.